In The News
Police knew 1080 blackmail case was 'an inside job', say suspects
Stuff 14:43, February 29 2016
Rolf and Ute Kleine, of Takaka, say they were made to feel like terrorists when police searched their home as part of the 1080 contamination scare investigation.
Golden Bay 1080 threat suspects say they weren't surprised to learn the blackmailer had a poison business and did business with the government.
"It's a man who is not afraid to use poison," Rolf Kleine said.
"We knew that anyone who is a 1080 activist would never dream of poisoning anyone, because it completely goes against what they stand for."
Kleine was a suspect with his wife Ute Kleine in the operation to determine who was behind the blackmail threat in 2015 to contaminate milk powder with 1080.
1080 blackmailer Jeremy Kerr was in business with Government
Stuff 05:00, February 28 2016
1080 blackmailer Jeremy Kerr TVNZ
The man unmasked as the 1080 baby formula blackmailer originally went into business with a Government-owned company and his possum control poison is widely used by the Department of Conservation. TONY WALL reports.
The person who sent threatening letters laced with 1080 to Fonterra and Federated Farmers would be an anti-1080 "nutter", the theory went, a "bearded recluse" who was so against the poison he was prepared to kill babies.
Police zeroed in on known activists but in the end the culprit was someone who was at the very heart of the poisons industry itself, a man who had the ear of Government scientists in the fight to control possums.
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The 1080 milk crisis, from beginning to end
Stuff 17:46, October 13 2015
MIKE SCOTT/FAIRFAX NZ
Supermarkets instigated safety measures in reaction to the 1080 poisoning threat against infant baby formula.
Police have arrested a man almost a year after threats to poison baby milk formula prompted an investigation costing $3 million, and safety measures involving more than 150,000 batch tests on milk products.
The case began in November, when Fonterra and Federated Farmers received 1080-laced packets of infant formula along with a threat to contaminate retail supplies unless the Government stopped using the pest control.
The Department of Conservation uses 1080 to control pests such as possums, rats and stoats.
The threat read like a hoax, but had to be taken seriously - not only were the lives of children potentially at risk, but also consumer confidence in China.
Around 35 police officers were put on the case, dubbed Operation Concord.
Time to find alternatives to 1080 “weapon of mass destruction”
SPCA New Zealand wants an immediate plan to find a more humane alternative to the use of 1080 poison to control possums, rats, and stoats.
"1080 poisoning is a horrible way to die and it is indiscriminate in what it kills," says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand.
"The Department of Conservation (DOC) is dropping more 1080 poison this year than ever before across huge swathes of our forests, despite the inevitable damage it will do to a wide range of 'non-target' animals and birds. We are saying there has to be a better way.
"These 1080 drops are not surgical strikes that only knock out so-called 'target' species. On the contrary, 1080 poison is a weapon of mass destruction that leads to the agonising deaths of many 'non-target' species, including deer, pigs, and, yes, native birds.
"DOC is dropping many tonnes of 1080 poison bait across New Zealand's forests and streams, potentially killing every living thing within the drop zones. This is unacceptable and there is much evidence to suggest that it is not the answer to the problem: the target species, particularly rats, always seem to bounce back, which necessitates more 1080 poison drops.
"It is simply not a sustainable way to manage wildlife in New Zealand. Are we going to keep dropping 1080 poison all over New Zealand forever? Is that the future we want?
"Moreover we appear to have set up a double standard regarding the welfare of pest species, such as rats, stoats, and possums. The law permits the elimination of these and other inconvenient species and turns a blind eye to how inhumanely they are killed.
"We as a country have decided there are two kinds of animals: those we care about and those we don't. If I fed 1080 poison to my dog, the SPCA would prosecute me with vigour. But if I fed the same poison to a possum there would be no repercussions at all.
"The Royal New Zealand SPCA exists to prevent cruelty to animals and promote animal welfare – and that means all animals, not just the ones we keep as pets or on our farms. Make no mistake, 1080 inflicts terrible, prolonged suffering on the animals that it poisons. We believe there must be alternative methods of pest control that do not inflict such awful suffering.
"We are not arguing against pest control. We recognise that rats, stoats, and possums pose a real threat to native bird species and must therefore be controlled in some way. What we are saying is there has to be a better way – and it's our duty as a nation to find it.
"The Royal New Zealand SPCA is standing by to work with DOC to help find more humane, more targeted, more sustainable, and more effective methods to control pest populations and protect our precious native wildlife. And we call on the Government to stump up the cash required to fund the search for these alternative methods."
The SPCA has called for the Department of Conservation to rethink its plans to drop more 1080.
It follows comments by the new Conservation Minister, Maggie Barry, that she "absolutely" supports the use of the controversial 1080 poison to kill predators of native birds.
SPCA CEO Ric Odom says "there's a better way" to combat pests, with the organisation adamant that the Government needs to find "a more humane alternative". Read More